Do you know how to experience more joy? There are things in your life, that when you stop tolerating, that are sucking energy from you, you will immediately gain confidence and feel lighter. You’ll experience joy.
Oftentimes, it has become such a habit, you are not even aware you have been doing this for years. If you wish to explore this further, see the link at the end of this article.
What is bad about tolerating things?
Let’s unpack the word. To tolerate something means to endure or to go along with something you are in opposition with.
Truly, there’s no fun in that.
Tolerations can be downright damaging. It is often a way to undermine ourselves. We feel less than what we wish we were, and we tell ourselves there’s not much we can do about it.
This is how it becomes the thief of joy and a sneaky thief at that.
What are you tolerating in your life?
In other words, what are you putting up with even though it gives you angst? What thing, behavior, or belief do you continue to endure even though it makes you feel small, anxious, or angry?
I bet you have examples just like this one of mine.
Here’s a most ridiculous example of the way this was brought to my attention.
For probably 10 years, I have had a piece of art hanging in my kitchen that, although I loved the canvas, was not hung on the wall to my liking.
Every time I gazed at this painting, instead of appreciating its beauty, I was focused on the fact that it was not correctly centered on the wall.
A one-inch adjustment was all it needed!
Instead of taking the time to move the nail from which it hung, I tolerated how it was misplaced. Every time I looked at the painting, instead of appreciating what I loved about it, I felt frustrated.
What a waste of energy.
A few days ago, I was hanging a new kitchen clock on a different wall. I thought, “Hmmm, why not move the chair across the room and reposition the canvas that has been aggravating me for so long?”.
It took all of 45 seconds to lower the nail and center the painting to my liking. That’s all it took – 45 seconds — to completely shift my emotions from a negative to a positive experience.
Now every time I look at the canvas, I get an immediate smile on my face.
Can you think of some similar experiences in your life?
It’s the old stories (lies) we have told ourselves for years that when reframed are a path to experience joy.
Tolerations are linked to some beliefs we are holding onto, old stories we tell ourselves. Like when we fret over the disarray of papers piled up in our workspace, we tell ourselves, “I am a disorganized person” or “I am naturally messy”.
Or, even worse, “I am an imposter. I don’t have what it takes to be as successful as ____” (we almost always have someone in our mind we compare ourselves to whom we think is better).
Whatever it is we tell ourselves about that thing we are tolerating, it creates a negative feeling which is an energy suck.
It is so often the little things and behaviors that when we shift in a different direction, lead us to a completely new mindset.
The “Monkey Mind” will try to take you down.
What does your “Monkey Mind” chatter to you about?
For me, perhaps my most damaging example is my eating habits. Eating mindlessly is toleration. I tell myself an old story and ignore what I have learned about the far superior practice of mindful eating.
Awareness is key. A shift in my habit around eating has the potential to change everything about how I honor and love myself.
Something that simple can shift a belief from feeling unworthy (an old story I tell myself) to a feeling of empowered and worthy.
Our minds are very good at tricking us. We come across something that we don’t like or do not want but that little monkey mind voice that feeds our negative self-talk tells us it’s easier to just accept it.
Over time, we create the habit of ignoring our wisdom, and we question our gut, where the truth always is. We get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
This is where tolerance becomes an energy vampire. We bury our feelings to hide from the dread. We may have just disconnected from anything that feels bad, but along with that, we also bury our joy.
How to experience joy: 3 steps to turn it all around.
If this feels familiar to you, there are a few steps towards making a shift to stop tolerating what squashes our joy.
Step #1: Scanning exercise
I recommend a scanning exercise to raise our awareness of what we are tolerating. Awareness is at least 50% of the solution.
Start with the easiest. Often our house is a good place to practice uncovering what we are tolerating.
Pay attention to how you feel in every room.
Some situations are simple (like moving a nail on the wall) and some are much more complicated and take more time.
Step #2: Acknowledge and take action.
Once you acknowledge toleration, it’s only a matter of problem-solving to discover what needs to shift.
I promise you that the mere process of claiming that the challenge exists instead of continuing to swallow the negative feelings will bring you more energy and more access to what brings you joy.
Tolerations can take many forms. It could be connected to a person who sucks energy from you because of their negativity. The action might be establishing new boundaries around limiting how much time you spend with that person.
There have been times in the past when I spent the entire day with a knot in my stomach. With new wisdom, I have learned to practice what I call “meditation minutes”.
When I become aware of feeling out of sync with myself, I make the time to close my eyes, go within to explore what feels off balance.
Step #3: Celebrate the wins.
Once you complete a project, create a healthy boundary, or make a behavioral change within yourself that has burdened you, it is time to celebrate yourself.
Never minimize the power of 2 tiny words, 3 simple letters. I AM.
After following the 3 steps outlined above, using I AM statements anchors it all into a new belief and practice.
I AM statements are positive affirming. They are an opportunity to celebrate a powerful shift within yourself.
I AM organized, I AM a great time manager, I AM great at setting healthy boundaries, I AM a master at mindfulness.
Say these each time you notice your accomplishments.
In other words, look for ways to claim your joy every chance you get!
Did reading this article take you on a journey of introspection? If so, that was the intention! Would you like to continue reading? I suggest my article on worrying.
If you would like to continue exploring other energy blocks that are keeping you from realizing your true greatness, I invite you to schedule a complimentary Discovery Call with me here.